Seven-year-old girl raped at Dros to take the stand on Wednesday
The Pretoria High Court is on Wednesday expected to hear evidence from the child that Nicholas Ninow admitted to raping at the Silverton Dros restaurant in Pretoria last year.
Ninow on Monday pleaded guilty to rape, possession of drugs and defeating the ends of justice. He pleaded not guilty to an assault charge. Despite the guilty plea, the state is questioning details contained in his plea.
After calling its two witnesses on Tuesday, the state told the court that it had a “special” witness who would take the stand on Wednesday.
Prosecutor Dora Ngobeni said the minor child had a concert at school on Tuesday evening and could not testify on the same day.
“I did not want to interfere with her schedule because she is a minor child,” Ngobeni said when Judge Papi Mosopi lashed out at her for calling only two witnesses on Tuesday.
The ANC Women’s League’s Tokozile Xasa bemoaned the state’s decision to call the seven-year-old girl to the stand.
“Bringing back the minor to endure and bring back those experiences is a terrible thing,” Xasa said.
She added that Ninow’s guilty plea did not take away the gravity of the offence he committed.
“It does not change anything. When somebody has committed a crime, that person must pay for that crime. People who commit these crimes must feel the full might of the law. We are looking at nothing less than a life sentence here,” said Xasa.
In his plea explanation read out in court on Monday, Ninow said he had consumed “substantial” amounts of alcohol and drugs on the day of the incident.
Witnesses who testified in court said he had moved tables to be closer to the kiddies' corner of the restaurant and that he had beer and shooters followed by more beer.